Annie and Her Crate: The Benefits of Using Crates for Your Dog

by Robyn Wright on March 29, 2015

in Living

This post is sponsored by PetSmart®, and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Containment Products and Education for your pet, but Robyn’s Online World only shares information I feel is relevant to my readers. PetSmart is not responsible for the content of this article.

Annie and her crate - the benefits of dog crates for your pet

When my family adopted our Annie from a Needy Paws Rescue event at our local PetSmart® we really had no idea about dog crates and the benefit of crate training. When Needy Paws came to our house for the home check and brought Annie though, they also bought a crate for us to borrow. It turns out Annie loved her crate. We thought it was odd at first, but we have learned that crates are like dens for dogs. This has been Annie’s safe and secure place since we adopted her.

Annie was really nervous when she first came to our house, she had been through a lot in the last several months. Whenever she was nervous she would just get up and walk into her crate to feel safe. Over the past couple of months she has relaxed more and feels comfortable in our home but her crate is still here in the family room for her when she wants to hang out there.

Annie and her crate - the benefits of dog crates for your pet

Recently we went to our lake house for the first time since adopting Annie. Because we know that she does get nervous we folded up her crate and took it with us. We love that crates are collapsible like this, but we also have a travel carrier for her. The first thing we did was set up the crate and she went in and out of it the entire weekend.

We are also doing a bit of crate training with Annie, well more re-training. She is mostly house-broken but we do occasionally have accidents. At night she sleeps in her crate to avoid any potty accidents. We also have found that in the morning she is most active and in a chewing mood. When I have to be gone in the morning I have her go in her crate now too to avoid her chewing up any more shoes and boxes – we’ve lost many of both to her before we learned.

petsmart logo

Annie, our Olde English Bulldog, shopping with us at PetSmart

We live super close to PetSmart and so we take Annie over there shopping with us often. It’s nice to be able to see your pet next to the crates, kennels, and carriers to get an even better idea of what will work best.

At PetSmart they have crates out of the box and on display

At the store they will have a put together display area of the different crates so you can see the size of them. As I said, we love the crates because they fold down flat in about a minute.

Travel carriers like these are another option for your pet

The pet carriers are also an option for both at home or traveling. We have one of these for Annie also but for her it is just for when she travels. If you have smaller dogs they even have soft-sided carriers available.

Make sure you also get a crate pan and soft padding for your crate to keep your dog comfortable

Make sure you get everything you need when you but your crate or carrier. For crates you will need a crate pan to give the dogs a nice solid surface on the bottom. Then for crates or carriers be sure to have some soft padding for them to lay down on and be comfy.

We are so happy to have learned about the benefits of crate training and use for our Annie. We’ve always had small carriers for our cats for taking them to the vet but we never knew how important it would be for a dog. I really think a crate is one of the most important items you need for a happy pet!

Do you have a crate, carrier, or kennel at home for your pets? Do you have any tips on using them for my other readers?

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{ 28 comments }

1 tannawings March 29, 2015 at 10:29 pm

I have nothng against crate training and some dogs really enjoy their crates but I just have never had a reason to much use it. Odin was crate trained and I still have his crate although he seemed to view it less as a ‘den’ than as a punishment so we eliminated it. For some dogs it is great though.

2 Robyn Wright March 31, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Agree that for some dogs they think of it as punishment unfortunately. I’m glad that you saw that and let Odin do without :-)

3 Rust March 29, 2015 at 10:42 pm

My best friend adopted a dog several months ago and the crate has been exactly as you have explained — a den, a safe haven. As for PetSmart, we love that place!

4 Robyn Wright March 31, 2015 at 4:19 pm

We love PetSmart too – and so does Annie! I wish my cats would like to go out too – it would be fun to take them over there!

5 Jackie Preas March 30, 2015 at 12:04 am

We have one for Beauregard that he only uses when he wants to now.The door stays open giving him free reign.We have figured out that he is going into the crate on his own when we are away :)….it is his safe place,We also have a washable crate pad and a fleece throw in there for him…he loves to bunch the fleece up just so.
We have been very lucky with Beau in that he has never really chewed anything up.When he was a teeny pup I sprayed the things we did not want him to bother with with one of the Bitter Apple sprays,that worked with him but not with our first dog Riley.
Raising a dog is a lot like raising our children,each one is different and you have to figure out just what works….a lot of trial and error :).

6 Robyn Wright March 31, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Annie sometimes will start pawing at her blankets too and bunching them up just a certain way before she lays down – it’s funny. Since Annie is 4 or 5 years old it is harder to break that chewing issue, plus it is part of her breed characteristic. I agree that animals are like kids! Wait till you here (coming up in a post) about what Annie chewed up recently!

7 Jackie Preas March 31, 2015 at 4:40 pm

Utoh….lol.I hope she hasn’t started doing what our Riley used to do…he loved to eat MONEY but nothing smaller than a $20.He got the first one out of my jean pockets one night.I never left them low after that,lol.The 2nd time I don’t remember exactly how he got that 20 but he did.The biggest one was when Earl was doing some work and he was paid in cash.I foolishly put the envelope into my pocketbook…I thought he would never finish pooping that stuff out…and yes I collected as many pieces as I could,washed,dried and pieced back together and taken to the bank in baggies….he got 2 $100’s,3 $50’s and 3 $20’s.That was the last time he ate any money :).
He has been gone almost 2 years now and is still missed every day.He is the one that was white and buff.Beauregard is a tri-color.

8 Anna Coffin March 30, 2015 at 6:04 am

Crate training not only keeps your pet safe but also but also protects your property. Crate training works better if you start with a puppy, but it’s not impossible to train an adult dog.

9 Robyn Wright March 31, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Yes, much easier to train a puppy I’m sure. Our Annie was an adult when we adopted her so she is learning new things now.

10 coupcrazy March 30, 2015 at 8:20 am

I never crate trained my Bassets, but we have one in the garage that we have use for transporting livestock. I was kind of shocked when one of my girls had her puppies in the crate, but I bet it made her feel they were safe inside there with her babies.

11 Robyn Wright March 31, 2015 at 4:22 pm

Awww that is sweet that she found it to have her puppies in the crate!

12 Newlywed Survival March 30, 2015 at 2:44 pm

We crate trained our beagle, and I am so glad we did. She thinks of it as a nice place to relax!

13 Robyn Wright March 31, 2015 at 4:22 pm

Yep, my Annie is taking a nap insider her crate now – she just walked in and got comfy and started snoring LOL

14 coupontammy March 30, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Oh Annie looks so cute in her crate! I think crate training is the best way to go. We have done it with all our dogs. They just love it. It really is their Safe place. Annie looks like she really loves her new home with you!

15 Robyn Wright March 31, 2015 at 4:23 pm

Thank you @coupontammy:disqus – we hope that Annie loves us as much as we love her!

16 AngelaLilly March 31, 2015 at 11:39 am

I have never used a kennel/crate other than for transport to and from the vet’s office or during a move. All of my animals have always roamed free, unless they are being quarantined in a bathroom for their own safety (like after surgery or when they are ill and feeling badly or when they are first being introduced to our home). :-D

17 Robyn Wright March 31, 2015 at 4:23 pm

This is really the first time we have used a crate as part of everyday life with a pet – well except the guinea pigs and hermit crabs.

18 AngelaLilly April 1, 2015 at 9:17 am

Well, technically, if you are counting tiny pets, I did crate my one hamster. LOL And I guess a fish tank is a type of cage/crate all its own. I used to have fish and a newt, so that happened. LOL I also had birds for a VERY short time and they were in a cage. So, yeah, I guess I was wrong! :-D

19 Robyn Wright May 8, 2015 at 1:00 pm

LOL – I count all of those!

20 AngelaLilly May 8, 2015 at 1:58 pm

LOL :-D

21 ginette4 March 31, 2015 at 1:47 pm

We have a crate that our small dogs share, it’s their comfort place when the house gets too rowdy and lively with loud guests

22 Robyn Wright March 31, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Yes, our Annie will always go into her crate when we have a loud bunch of people here. The cats go and find their hiding spaces too.

23 slehan March 31, 2015 at 11:39 pm

I can see where a crate would seem like a safe place for a dog.

24 Dawn Schamp-Monzu May 9, 2015 at 11:48 am

My sister has 3 big dogs, and she has always used a crate for them. It has worked great for them. We have 3 dogs, and we actually let 2 of them roam the house, but the other one (trouble as I like to call her) has to stay in her room. She doesn’t seem to mind, I think she knows she will get into trouble if we let her run around the house while we are gone! For the most part they are good dogs. I love the look on Annie’s face in the picture! haha

25 Robyn Wright May 18, 2015 at 2:27 pm

LOL – I bet you that Trouble does understand :-)

26 Jennifer McKinney May 22, 2015 at 1:22 pm

I really wish I had done this with my girls. I got my oldest in college so I definitely wasn’t disciplined enough to do the crating. But with Lily who is 5, I should have because she is out of control. She was a rescue and was abused so she had several issues but her behavior is terrible.

27 Robyn Wright May 23, 2015 at 1:50 pm

You could still start training her now. Just do it slowly. Make the crate cozy. Put items she loves in it. Leave the door open for her to go in and out. Give her a treat when she goes in on her own. After a week or so close the door occasionally too. They take to them pretty quickly.

28 Jennifer McKinney May 23, 2015 at 10:34 pm

It’s definitely worth a shot especially with my increasingly mobile son! Thank you :)

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